Paul has a tension between task and people. He is hurrying to Jerusalem and so doesn’t want to delay at Ephesus.
Paul has learnt to love these people, but he will not sacrifice the task
The task though, IS about the people- new people- who are calling him. “Come over and help us”. (See 16.9) V22ff shows he is willing to respond to that call even at personal risk
His concern for the Ephesian church as a whole meant he cant pass by without at least seeing the elders.
Like a school and its head-teacher the hope for a church is always in its leaders.
Passionate about serving his Lord-
20.19. “humility and tears” This is a model for all christian leadership.
Passionate about preaching
No hesitation to preach, but NOT just so he can get the truth out- to be helpful to them. As preachers at Jubilee that is our desire.
We will teach publically and from house to house- ask questions of the leadership team, be eager to receive Gods word. Make enquiries, ask us questions.
If you discover discrepancies between what we say and what you have heard elsewhere, talk to us about them!!!
Paul doesn’t try and identify the false teachers and what they will say. Instead he preaches the whole of Gods teaching (see also v28) Our desire here is not to spend
our time pointing out what we think are the errors of others preaching, but rather to point you to the word of God.
If preachers teach you rightly, you will build up a picture of Gods truth. Then when you hear others you will be able to recognise what is true and accept it whilst filtering out what is bad-
Be like the Bereans (Acts 17.11) “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so”
Sometimes, godly preaching can at first sight appear contradictory- be careful at jumping to this conclusion. We can sometimes simply be standing at different sides of the same truth describing it. Eg 3 Blind men describing
an elephant. “Its a tree” “its a snake” “its a fly buzzing”
Illustration of three people in the room getting closer to me.
V28 Be Pasionate for the church and especially your LOCAL church
Paul is innocent of the blood of ALL
1. Because he preached
2. Because he established local churches with their own leadership to do the task for him
Church is intensely personal- it has to be this whole passage screams that to us!
GOD LOVES THE WHOLE CHURCH, HE bought it with HIS OWN Blood (incidently a very trinitarian verse!!) We are to love his bride. We are not to pridefully reject our brothers and sisters simpy because they go to a different kind of church and think slightly differently to us.
There is ALSO a local expression of IT. Paul knew he didnt have to be concerned about the Ephesians and meet with them as there was an eldership body who would do that for him EVEN Though false teachers were coming.
We must be in a certain place where there are certain people “overseers” who watch out for us.
We are blessed to have the elders we do! If you are listening on the internet or are a visitor here- who has the holy spirit made to be your overseers to care for you?
Passionate for action
Paul took big risks-will we take small ones?
Eg helping with kids…….paul went to Jerusalem not knowing what would
happen- will you venture to screen 15 not knowing what will happen?
Paul set an example of hard works
We have seen the passionate relationship Paul had with God, the word, the task in hand and the people of the church.
Why does passion get low?
-Tiredness or laziness
-overwork or lack of satisfying work
-lack of vision/purpose re what we are doing.
-Prayer, bible reading fellowship all build us up again.
How did Paul have the passion to do all this? Gods call on him and God’s
strength within him and his relationship with Jesus- hard to be passionate about a religion!- if passion is low we need a refill!
Do you have a sense of call upon you to what you do- eg work etc…
Do you have a vision for the church as we spoke of a few weeks back?
Have you grasped the gospel of grace that Dave spoke of ?
Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit as Tope spoke of lately?
Who needs a passion infusion? Who needs to respond to the warning implicit
in Pauls words “I am innocent of the blood of all men” why innocent-
because he preached the gospel. Why “all men” because he equipped others
to do the same. Can we say the same?
I implore you- be reconcilled with God if you arent already and if you are work passionately for others to also be reconcilled, and throw yourself into church so you can become all God intends you to be.
APPEAL FOR SALVATION
PRAY FOR EVERYONE FOR PASSION